45 votes

The Reddit COVID blackout has begun

Since I have a handful of small subreddits, I decided to be inspired by the story of David & Goliath. However, there is a small chance that these communities will be taken over and/or deleted by Reddit. It would be heartbreaking to me if that happened.

Conversely, I am more heartbroken that mis/disinformation is being promulgated on Reddit which leads to more precious human lives ending.

I've been talking with the other mods, on a Discord server, and none of them put me up to this. One of the organizers tried to dissuade me.

It looks like the rolling Reddit blackouts may happen through the coming week. Although, it will be up to the individual mods in every case.

EDIT: This is the list of subs that are, currently, private. It will be updated when the rest of the subs join in on Thursday.

EDIT2: It was just announced that all of the other subs will not be waiting until Thursday. They will all be going private over the next several hours.

66 comments

  1. [18]
    dubteedub
    Link
    Well the mad lads did it r/nonewnormal is banned, tons of other bans/quarantines Admin post - https://www.reddit.com/r/redditsecurity/comments/pfyqqn/covid_denialism_and_policy_clarifications/
    • Exemplary

    Well the mad lads did it

    r/nonewnormal is banned, tons of other bans/quarantines

    Admin post - https://www.reddit.com/r/redditsecurity/comments/pfyqqn/covid_denialism_and_policy_clarifications/

    31 votes
    1. [9]
      TheJorro
      Link Parent
      Good. But despite this, the response I've seen from so many reddit users and moderators to this cause has been extremely disheartening. Even at the depths of cynicism, this was a good act of...

      Good.

      But despite this, the response I've seen from so many reddit users and moderators to this cause has been extremely disheartening. Even at the depths of cynicism, this was a good act of protest that was for a collective good, and redditors still went out of their way to crap all over the attempt and then retroactively justify it in increasingly childish, huffy ways of "this won't work", "i don't care", "this is a place for memes!" It just strikes me as people who want to avoid putting in any effort and would rather just let evil happen as long as they get their dopamine rush.

      If this isn't an indictment of the mental culture that reddit fosters, I don't know what else is.

      21 votes
      1. [7]
        Akir
        Link Parent
        I mean, were you really surprised by this? Redditors talk bad about mods all the time just for doing what their role requires them to do, and it's often because they don't understand how toxic...

        I mean, were you really surprised by this? Redditors talk bad about mods all the time just for doing what their role requires them to do, and it's often because they don't understand how toxic their actions have become. Reddit is not a discussion forum; it's a social networking game where the goal is to collect as many Karma points as you can.

        13 votes
        1. [5]
          TheJorro
          Link Parent
          I am, actually. It wasn't quite this bad. When subreddits would participate in these actions, there was a general upswelling of support alongside the tide of people voicing their...

          I am, actually. It wasn't quite this bad. When subreddits would participate in these actions, there was a general upswelling of support alongside the tide of people voicing their inconvenience-as-affronts. This time, I saw a lot less of the former, and a lot more of the latter.

          There's even now a weirdly defeatist ring to it, as if some people feel that reddit will not ever do anything so we should just get up and accept the slow slide into the oblivion of apathy and amorality. I think the part that gets me most is how insistent these people are about being laissez-faire about the destruction of principles.

          9 votes
          1. [4]
            suspended
            Link Parent
            You are spot on! Thank you.

            You are spot on! Thank you.

            1 vote
            1. [3]
              Bullmaestro
              Link Parent
              Thing about Reddit is... it was founded on free speech principles. And then undesirable groups came in and started to stretch said free speech principles to their limits. We are now at the point...

              Thing about Reddit is... it was founded on free speech principles. And then undesirable groups came in and started to stretch said free speech principles to their limits.

              We are now at the point where people want the internet to be censored. I think said undesirable groups killed the ideal.

              3 votes
              1. Wes
                Link Parent
                I don't see that reddit was founded on free speech principles. It was just a link aggregator. It didn't even have comments, text.posts or subreddits at the start. A Libertarian streak did evolve...

                I don't see that reddit was founded on free speech principles. It was just a link aggregator. It didn't even have comments, text.posts or subreddits at the start.

                A Libertarian streak did evolve in the community as it began to form, and I agree free speech was a core feature of that. But I wouldn't argue it was founded on those principles. Certainly there wasn't a strong influence in that direction from on top until much later, when Yishan held the reigns for a short while.

                8 votes
              2. suspended
                Link Parent
                I've commented about this earlier here.

                I've commented about this earlier here.

                1 vote
        2. Bullmaestro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          A lot of the vitriol against Reddit mods is because there's undeniably a lot of censorship at the moderator level on Reddit. Something I found out recently, my comments on Reddit get automatically...

          A lot of the vitriol against Reddit mods is because there's undeniably a lot of censorship at the moderator level on Reddit.

          Something I found out recently, my comments on Reddit get automatically hidden if I mention certain words like "incel." Doesn't seem to happen to other users and I kinda discovered it when the news about Jake Davison broke out. My guess is someone is running some kind of bot script that flagged me specifically. I've hardly if ever participated in any problematic subs, except maybe TRP, which I stopped frequenting about seven years ago when it became apparent that the community was toxic.

          I mean for fuck's sake, I shouldn't have to carefully tip-toe around certain words.

          5 votes
      2. knocklessmonster
        Link Parent
        It's part of Reddit's transition from a website to an app.

        It's part of Reddit's transition from a website to an app.

        3 votes
    2. Bullmaestro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      All Spez had to do was issue an apology for his previous tone-deaf post, ban /r/NoNewNormal, and then add a new rule to the site banning the promotion of dangerous misinformation on public health...

      All Spez had to do was issue an apology for his previous tone-deaf post, ban /r/NoNewNormal, and then add a new rule to the site banning the promotion of dangerous misinformation on public health matters. The kind of info that NNN was peddling would have directly violated this policy, not only for going against WHO and other international guidance on curbing spread of the virus, but for suggesting that people use experimental and dangerous drugs to treat COVID-19 infections, like bleach, Hydroxychloroquine or horse dewormers.

      Very simple policy change that would send a clear message to other conspiracy subs and tell them to knock off the covidiocy. Would have also been a major PR win for Reddit too.

      Instead the admins do just one of those things, which was ban NNN in the hopes of placating the power mod boycott by fulfilling merely one demand.

      Then the admins gave this overly contrived, jargon-filled response with statistics about "interference analysis" clearly plucked out of their butts, as a roundabout way of saying that "We banned this subreddit for brigading" despite openly acting like they've done nothing wrong just six days prior. Vote manipulation/Brigading is like the boilerplate response that Reddit gives when they ban a subreddit amid advertiser/user backlash but can't be arsed to make a policy change.

      And I honestly believe the "brigading" and "vote manipulation" excuses are dubious, because Reddit have been incredibly biased about how they enforced such rules in the past. They seem to care more than the power users controlling Reddit on a moderator level about imaginary internet points.

      13 votes
    3. [2]
      knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      After that extremely cold response I was surprised that it actually worked this time, but it seems to have been a resounding success. It'll also, unfortunately, be yet another game of...

      After that extremely cold response I was surprised that it actually worked this time, but it seems to have been a resounding success. It'll also, unfortunately, be yet another game of administrative whack-a-mole to track down the new, smaller replacement subs that will spring up.

      4 votes
      1. Bullmaestro
        Link Parent
        Unfortunately it seems that the protesting mods have been placated by the mere ban of NoNewNormal. All of the participating subs except for /r/futurology have lifted their blackouts in direct...

        Unfortunately it seems that the protesting mods have been placated by the mere ban of NoNewNormal. All of the participating subs except for /r/futurology have lifted their blackouts in direct response to the aforementioned purge.

        Futurology's message reads:

        Futurology has gone private to protest Reddit's inaction on COVID-19 misinformation. Although we welcome the latest step, we are still waiting to see the follow-through before we make a decision to re-open. Specifically we would like to see tooling and real action against the other rule-violating misinformation communities. Quarantines are largely meaningless.

        We note that no action has been taken against arr-conspiracy or arr-LockdownSkepticism.

        Please bear with us for the moment.

        8 votes
    4. [5]
      precise
      Link Parent
      Why was this tagged as exemplary? No offense dubteedub...

      Why was this tagged as exemplary? No offense dubteedub...

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        dubteedub
        Link Parent
        the label was I think someone did it just for increased visibility

        the label was

        "to the top with you!"

        I think someone did it just for increased visibility

        8 votes
        1. suspended
          Link Parent
          I needed that laugh. I've already been getting harassing modmail messages and this helps :)

          "to the top with you!"

          I needed that laugh. I've already been getting harassing modmail messages and this helps :)

          3 votes
      2. [2]
        whbboyd
        Link Parent
        I considered exemplary-ing it just to push it up to the top of the comments here because it's a highly relevant update. (I'm not the person who actually did label it, though.)

        I considered exemplary-ing it just to push it up to the top of the comments here because it's a highly relevant update.

        (I'm not the person who actually did label it, though.)

        7 votes
        1. cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I am the person who actually did label it, and that's exactly why... since at the time it only had a few votes and was still near the bottom of the comment section despite being a pretty important...

          I am the person who actually did label it, and that's exactly why... since at the time it only had a few votes and was still near the bottom of the comment section despite being a pretty important update that everyone who initially voted on this topic would probably want to know about.

          cc: @precise

          3 votes
  2. [3]
    dubteedub
    Link
    I think you may have jumped the gun on this. I checked the discord server and the last updates I saw was the organizers yesterday saying they are not blacking out today, that they needed more time...

    I think you may have jumped the gun on this.

    I checked the discord server and the last updates I saw was the organizers yesterday saying they are not blacking out today, that they needed more time to organize, and are considering maybe Thursday.

    16 votes
    1. N8theGr8
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It takes larger subreddits, which necessarily need larger mod teams to handle the work flow, a much longer amount of time to come to decisions than smaller subreddits. The mods of the smaller...

      It takes larger subreddits, which necessarily need larger mod teams to handle the work flow, a much longer amount of time to come to decisions than smaller subreddits.

      The mods of the smaller subreddits didn't seem to understand this at all, and thought that everyone would join them immediately, and some still think that anyone not joining them is just because of powermods trying to control the whole thing.

      9 votes
    2. suspended
      Link Parent
      There is another group, made up of smaller subs, that decided to do this earlier. Also, Thursday (for the larger subs) has been confirmed. EDIT: r/StarTrek went private today.

      There is another group, made up of smaller subs, that decided to do this earlier. Also, Thursday (for the larger subs) has been confirmed.

      EDIT: r/StarTrek went private today.

      8 votes
  3. [13]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    One of the subreddits I moderate has just gone dark. The first I learned about it was when our modmail suddenly started getting spammed with requests to join our now-private subreddit. It seems...

    One of the subreddits I moderate has just gone dark. The first I learned about it was when our modmail suddenly started getting spammed with requests to join our now-private subreddit.

    It seems the head mod unilaterally decided to participate in this protest tantrum without even having the courtesy to tell the rest of us. I'm furious.

    12 votes
    1. [12]
      suspended
      Link Parent
      Why would this make you angry?

      Why would this make you angry?

      7 votes
      1. [11]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        Mostly because we other mods weren't even informed that the head mod was going to do this, let alone asked if we wanted to participate. That's arrogant and just plain rude. (I'm now considering...

        Mostly because we other mods weren't even informed that the head mod was going to do this, let alone asked if we wanted to participate. That's arrogant and just plain rude. (I'm now considering stepping away from this subreddit, after I get the head mod to answer a few questions.)

        Partly because I believe that protests, especially online protests, are pointless. They don't achieve anything. The largest protest in Australia's history was when half a million people across the country protested against Australia joining the USA's invasion of Iraq back in 2003. After the protest... Australia joined the USA's invasion of Iraq.

        And because I believe this protest in particular is going to achieve absolutely nothing. To borrow a phrase that I normally hate, it's nothing more than virtue signalling. It's just the moderator equivalent of a tantrum. They're screaming and shouting and stamping their feet, but Daddy Reddit will just ignore it and will continue to do exactly nothing about COVID misinformation.

        12 votes
        1. [10]
          Bullmaestro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I see one of three things happening, in order from least to most likely: Reddit bans /r/NoNewNormal and enacts a COVID-19 disinformation policy to stop the blackout. Reddit de-mods and/or suspends...

          I see one of three things happening, in order from least to most likely:

          1. Reddit bans /r/NoNewNormal and enacts a COVID-19 disinformation policy to stop the blackout.
          2. Reddit de-mods and/or suspends all the moderators involved in the protest, which unfortunately may also mean you since the sub you moderated locked down. In response, said moderators band together and create a Reddit clone of their own, possibly using the source code of another alternative like Ruqqus.
          3. Reddit does nothing and all the protesting mods inevitably give up and go back to their normal ways.

          Scenario #1 is pretty damn unlikely. Reddit tend not to cave in towards their user base unless it follows negative media & advertiser pressure. Much of their Content Policy has been shaped by responses to negative publicity.

          As for #2, it is the likelier option because I imagine that relations between the admins and the more prolific mods on Reddit are tenuous at best. On the other hand, any negative ramifications against mods involved in the protest would definitely lead to a media shitstorm against Reddit for peddling COVID disinformation. If this were to ever occur, I'd see Reddit doing a 180 very quickly and banning /r/NoNewNormal ASAP.

          Because if they don't, I see those mods forming their own breakaway site and riding off of the press circus that would inevitably come.

          Why do I think scenario #3 is the most likely? Because COVID misinformation is a short term issue. Given the sheer amount of anti-vaxxers who have either died or fallen seriously ill from COVID-19 or the dangerous experimental drugs that the movement has been peddling, I can see many increasingly turning away from the movement over the coming months..

          But the main reason is because much of Reddit is moderated by a small cabal of power users. Would they really want to kill any influence they have on the site for the sake of silencing disinformation?

          There is nothing stopping people from forming an alternative subreddit. When /r/wow went private a few years back because the head mod immaturely flipped out in protest at Blizzard over WoD launch server issues and ended up holding the WoW sub hostage, /r/worldofwarcraft would have ended up being the dominant sub had Nitesmoke not been deposed.

          Partly because I believe that protests, especially online protests, are pointless. They don't achieve anything. The largest protest in Australia's history was when half a million people across the country protested against Australia joining the USA's invasion of Iraq back in 2003. After the protest... Australia joined the USA's invasion of Iraq.

          Our protest here in Britain was a million people strong. Britain still followed the US into Iraq...

          7 votes
          1. [9]
            Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            Your analysis is valid. Scenario #3 will happen. It has happened before. Remember that time back in July 2015 when Reddit sacked a very popular employee, Victoria Taylor, who used to assist...

            Your analysis is valid.

            Scenario #3 will happen. It has happened before.

            Remember that time back in July 2015 when Reddit sacked a very popular employee, Victoria Taylor, who used to assist subreddit moderators with very high-profile AMAs? And remember how moderators shut down literally hundreds of subreddits in protest, in Reddit's first great blackout?

            Of course you do - it made the news!

            Remember when Reddit backed down and gave Ms Taylor her job back?

            Of course you don't - it never happened.

            Since then, moderators have repeatedly protested against various admins' actions, and they have repeatedly achieved very little, if anything at all, from those protests.

            This will be more of the same.

            The only time a moderator protest has had any effect was earlier this year, when Reddit employed a long-term moderator who had connections with a convicted child abuser. However, that case, like you say, involved negative publicity for Reddit Inc. Reddit didn't fire that employee because of the moderator protest. They fired her because they didn't know about her connections when they hired her, and, when they learned about the situation, they realised it would look bad for the company to keep her on the payroll.

            Much of their Content Policy has been shaped by responses to negative publicity.

            Yep. Yep. Yep. Reddit is always reactive, never proactive.

            Reddit de-mods and/or suspends all the moderators involved in the protest

            They've never done this before. Why would they start now?

            Reddit won't de-mod all the protesting moderators. They'd have to replace them all! That would involve work that the admins don't want.

            But the main reason is because much of Reddit is moderated by a small cabal of power users. Would they really want to kill any influence they have on the site for the sake of silencing disinformation?

            Exactly. If they really had the strength of their convictions, they would close their subreddits and then de-mod themselves to make the admins' lives as difficult as possible. But they never do.

            10 votes
            1. [4]
              Bullmaestro
              Link Parent
              A bit of further context surrounding Victoria Taylor's firing. Ellen Pao largely took the hit for that and I think the Reddit community were placated by her resignation as CEO. Pao was...

              A bit of further context surrounding Victoria Taylor's firing. Ellen Pao largely took the hit for that and I think the Reddit community were placated by her resignation as CEO.

              Pao was unfortunately a scapegoat that the Reddit community fell hook, line and sinker for, and it's ironic because Spez pushed far more censorship measures than Pao ever did during her brief tenure as CEO. Kn0thing was actually the one who fired Taylor, as Yishan Wong later revealed, but had Pao thrown under the bus for it.

              In a way, Reddit didn't "do nothing" in response to user revolts. They pushed out their female CEO.

              In fact, if Pao hadn't gone, I think Voat would have eventually become a breakaway Reddit alternative with a sizeable community. Instead, the site nearly died, was commandeered by white supremacists who had been chased away from Reddit in later years and became a racist hellhole before it eventually shut down in late 2020.

              They've never done this before. Why would they start now?

              Reddit won't de-mod all the protesting moderators. They'd have to replace them all! That would involve work that the admins don't want.

              I can only think of two times where Reddit actually demodded people: /r/wow and /r/the_donald.

              In WoW's case, it was apparently because Nitesmoke demanded a charitable donation from the current mod team in return for him stepping down. In t_d's case, it was Reddit trying their absolute hardest to install their own pre-approved moderators to avoid an outright ban.

              Should Reddit go the nuclear option, I think they'd leave the subs dormant and start taking offers from /r/redditrequest.

              The only time a moderator protest has had any effect was earlier this year, when Reddit employed a long-term moderator who had connections with a convicted child abuser. However, that case, like you say, involved negative publicity for Reddit Inc. Reddit didn't fire that employee because of the moderator protest. They fired her because they didn't know about her connections when they hired her, and, when they learned about the situation, they realised it would look bad for the company to keep her on the payroll.

              Definitely think Reddit went back on their decision because of negativity publicity, not the perceived or actual threat of a mod blackout.

              I find it hard to believe that Reddit didn't know about her. Both because I seriously doubt that a social media company that operates a platform in the top 20 Alexa rankings would have failed to do their due-diligence, and because they were incredibly quick to censor articles mentioning her past and throw the banhammer at users for posting such articles.

              I don't think for a second it was down to an algorithm screw-up.

              8 votes
              1. [3]
                nukeman
                Link Parent
                Didn’t the admins also demod the founder of r/KIA after they tried to delete the sub?

                Didn’t the admins also demod the founder of r/KIA after they tried to delete the sub?

                3 votes
                1. Cycloneblaze
                  Link Parent
                  Yeah, they did. It was a bit of a ridiculous move from /u/david-me to suddenly grow a conscience after being fine with KIA for like, four years, but it was unbelievable at the time to see the...

                  Yeah, they did. It was a bit of a ridiculous move from /u/david-me to suddenly grow a conscience after being fine with KIA for like, four years, but it was unbelievable at the time to see the admins suddenly stir from their "subreddits are sovereign" stance in defence of... GamerGate. Doesn't leave much doubt about their priorities and ideology, to me.

                  7 votes
                2. AugustusFerdinand
                  Link Parent
                  Hadn't heard of that one, but I recall at least once or twice a mod "going rogue" on some mid sized sub, removing everyone and closing the sub, then being removed or "asked to step down" by the...

                  Hadn't heard of that one, but I recall at least once or twice a mod "going rogue" on some mid sized sub, removing everyone and closing the sub, then being removed or "asked to step down" by the admins, and the sub restored.

                  Couldn't tell you what they were though, so could all be hearsay.

                  3 votes
            2. [4]
              AugustusFerdinand
              Link Parent
              Remember when subreddits did a blackout over the hiring of a, at best, pedophilia apologist earlier this year? Like all protests, online and not, some are more effective than others. It's...

              Remember when subreddits did a blackout over the hiring of a, at best, pedophilia apologist earlier this year?

              Like all protests, online and not, some are more effective than others. It's unreasonable to state what the outcome will be prior to it happening.

              3 votes
              1. [3]
                Algernon_Asimov
                Link Parent
                Yes, I do. That's why I included a whole paragraph about it in the comment you're replying to.

                Remember when subreddits did a blackout over the hiring of a, at best, pedophilia apologist earlier this year?

                Yes, I do. That's why I included a whole paragraph about it in the comment you're replying to.

                6 votes
                1. [2]
                  AugustusFerdinand
                  Link Parent
                  I'm aware, this part was loudly declared BS. They fired her because of the protests, not because of something missed in the vetting process. Negative publicity gets changes made at reddit, simple...

                  I'm aware, this part was loudly declared BS.

                  They fired her because they didn't know about her connections when they hired her, and, when they learned about the situation, they realised it would look bad for the company to keep her on the payroll.

                  They fired her because of the protests, not because of something missed in the vetting process.

                  Negative publicity gets changes made at reddit, simple as that. The effectiveness of this protest will be based on the amount of negative publicity generated.

                  6 votes
                  1. petrichor
                    Link Parent
                    I don't think that's necessarily true. I remember far more negative publicity for the firing of Victoria Taylor than for the hiring of the recent admin. And, although it did eventually result in a...

                    The effectiveness of this protest will be based on the amount of negative publicity generated.

                    I don't think that's necessarily true. I remember far more negative publicity for the firing of Victoria Taylor than for the hiring of the recent admin.

                    And, although it did eventually result in a ban, it took four years and loads of negative publicity for Reddit to do something about /r/T_D.

                    6 votes
  4. [6]
    smoontjes
    Link
    Covid blackout? What?

    Covid blackout? What?

    11 votes
    1. [2]
      babypuncher
      Link Parent
      A massive coaltion of subreddit moderators representing many of the largest subreddits issued a statement last week demanding that Reddit do more to combat vaccine misinformation spreading on the...

      A massive coaltion of subreddit moderators representing many of the largest subreddits issued a statement last week demanding that Reddit do more to combat vaccine misinformation spreading on the site.

      CEO Steve Huffman basically told them to fuck off and claimed that it isn't a problem, but actually a critical aspect of healthy discussion.

      So many subreddits are responding by going dark for a day.

      10 votes
      1. TheJorro
        Link Parent
        I really don't think a day is enough. I fully expect they'll just weather it, and then move on because everything will be back in business. I think @TotallyNotARobot has it right.

        I really don't think a day is enough. I fully expect they'll just weather it, and then move on because everything will be back in business. I think @TotallyNotARobot has it right.

        9 votes
    2. [3]
      elcuello
      Link Parent
      Yeah how about some more info on what this is?

      Yeah how about some more info on what this is?

      2 votes
  5. [2]
    Kremor
    (edited )
    Link
    Is there a list of the subs that have decided to go private?

    Is there a list of the subs that have decided to go private?

    9 votes
    1. suspended
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Here. EDIT: I just confirmed with the other mods that all the other subs will be going private over the next several hours.

      Here. And it will be updated on Thursday.

      EDIT: I just confirmed with the other mods that all the other subs will be going private over the next several hours.

      7 votes
  6. [12]
    Grzmot
    Link
    Are subs getting banned? Which of your subs are you worried about and why?

    Are subs getting banned? Which of your subs are you worried about and why?

    5 votes
    1. [11]
      suspended
      Link Parent
      I've set my subs to private and there could be several more communities doing the same this week. There is a small chance that Reddit could take over or delete participating subs. I'm worried...

      I've set my subs to private and there could be several more communities doing the same this week. There is a small chance that Reddit could take over or delete participating subs. I'm worried about it because I've spent a lot of time and effort building these communities.

      2 votes
      1. [10]
        nothis
        Link Parent
        Wait, you're worried reddit will shut down those subreddits out of petty revenge because they staged an anti-COVID misinformation protest?

        Wait, you're worried reddit will shut down those subreddits out of petty revenge because they staged an anti-COVID misinformation protest?

        5 votes
        1. [5]
          whbboyd
          Link Parent
          Well the top moderator of kotakuinaction (the primary gamergate sub) took the sub private because it was a toxic hellhole, and the Reddit admins decided it was very important to have that toxic...

          Well the top moderator of kotakuinaction (the primary gamergate sub) took the sub private because it was a toxic hellhole, and the Reddit admins decided it was very important to have that toxic hellhole, removed him as a moderator, and reopened the sub. It, of course, remains a toxic hellhole to this day.

          So yes, it is 100% believable that Reddit would shut down or hostile-takeover subs which go private in protest of its superlatively awful behaviors.

          18 votes
          1. [2]
            Bullmaestro
            Link Parent
            That would be a PR shitshow for Reddit to say the least. Imagine the headlines: "Moderators deposed by Reddit for protesting against COVID-19 misinformation."

            So yes, it is 100% believable that Reddit would shut down or hostile-takeover subs which go private in protest of its superlatively awful behaviors.

            That would be a PR shitshow for Reddit to say the least.

            Imagine the headlines: "Moderators deposed by Reddit for protesting against COVID-19 misinformation."

            5 votes
            1. TotallyNotARobot
              Link Parent
              No one will give a shit after a single newsday, the only thing that will affect reddit is a mass exodus which will hurt their 2 billion evaluation

              No one will give a shit after a single newsday, the only thing that will affect reddit is a mass exodus which will hurt their 2 billion evaluation

              9 votes
          2. [2]
            Rez
            Link Parent
            Reddit could do it for a few of them, but realistically trying to recruit new top mods for dozens (or more) of eclectic subs, some of them pretty big, probably would not go that well. Not even...

            Reddit could do it for a few of them, but realistically trying to recruit new top mods for dozens (or more) of eclectic subs, some of them pretty big, probably would not go that well. Not even factoring in the optics behind the why either. They'd mostly have to hope there's someone on the team already that'd assume the position, open the subreddit, and otherwise not torch the place with their new position. It's a case-by-case thing they'd have to game out so trying to replace at scale could quickly go wrong.

            4 votes
            1. Gaywallet
              Link Parent
              They literally do not care if the subs go to shit, their only priority is for participation and growth. Why do you think they drag their feet as long as they can on any troublesome subs? They know...

              They literally do not care if the subs go to shit, their only priority is for participation and growth. Why do you think they drag their feet as long as they can on any troublesome subs? They know that emotionally charged issues draw people into the conversation and give them metrics like posts and users/day as participation metrics they can sell to VC for more money.

              While it looks bad for a bunch of subs to go private, I'm not sure where the capitalism calculus lands them in terms of what they believe is the best course of action in response. Private subs still generate numbers they can pitch to investors, but I also don't think the PR of not doing anything over covid misinformation is frankly enough to scare off investors either - there's plenty of clearly right wing outlets on the internet that don't seem to struggle too much to acquire funding. Being ostensibly against it but also "pro free speech" or whatever seems to be an okay argument for most people in the United States.

              11 votes
        2. [3]
          raze2012
          Link Parent
          From my experience, it's the opposite. During the some previous blackout, there were a few very large subs like r/pics where admins overrode the moderator's decisions to go private and opened the...

          From my experience, it's the opposite. During the some previous blackout, there were a few very large subs like r/pics where admins overrode the moderator's decisions to go private and opened the sub back up.

          At least, that's the "take over" option. I haven't heard subs being deleted in retaliation

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            justcool393
            Link Parent
            This is just untrue. People keep repeating that, but it's either never happened or there just happens to be absolutely 0 evidence of such. What I'm guessing happened is that during the 2015...

            This is just untrue. People keep repeating that, but it's either never happened or there just happens to be absolutely 0 evidence of such.

            What I'm guessing happened is that during the 2015 blackout, pics reopened or something and then people just assumed that the mod team couldn't've possibly made the decision to open up again.

            4 votes
            1. raze2012
              Link Parent
              No, I can't prove anything. it was years ago and I had no connection to the mods nor admins. The sub blacked out, it went back up surprisingly quickly, well before the official announcement from...

              No, I can't prove anything. it was years ago and I had no connection to the mods nor admins. The sub blacked out, it went back up surprisingly quickly, well before the official announcement from reddit. Those are the facts from my perspective. Whether it be due to admins opening it up themselves (as they can override mods), the mods changing face quickly, or the admins quickly compromising with those mods first to get the "important subs" open.

              Either way, it is an action admins can do. A well documented example would be r/wow's action from the most senior moderator, that the admins intervened in (for the good of the public users).

              4 votes
        3. vord
          Link Parent
          If it's a large enough one I could see them ousting the mods to keep it up and running smoothly. This kills the subreddit, if not in name, but in spirit.

          If it's a large enough one I could see them ousting the mods to keep it up and running smoothly.

          This kills the subreddit, if not in name, but in spirit.

          1 vote
  7. [11]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    Does anyone have any idea how long this protest is expected to continue?

    Does anyone have any idea how long this protest is expected to continue?

    3 votes
    1. [10]
      suspended
      Link Parent
      We are being encouraged to stay dark as long as possible. So, it is vague and up to the moderators of each sub.

      We are being encouraged to stay dark as long as possible. So, it is vague and up to the moderators of each sub.

      2 votes
      1. [9]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        Thanks. Hm. The head mod of the subreddit I'm in is not replying to modmail. He might find himself down one mod if he ever decides to grace us with his presence again.

        Thanks.

        Hm. The head mod of the subreddit I'm in is not replying to modmail. He might find himself down one mod if he ever decides to grace us with his presence again.

        4 votes
        1. [8]
          suspended
          Link Parent
          You may want to consider giving them a few days. IRL crap happens all the time, right?

          You may want to consider giving them a few days. IRL crap happens all the time, right?

          1. [7]
            Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            He's not the most present of moderators at the best of times. So it was a bit of rude him to make a fly-by appearance just to shut down the subreddit without telling anyone, and then piss off...

            He's not the most present of moderators at the best of times. So it was a bit of rude him to make a fly-by appearance just to shut down the subreddit without telling anyone, and then piss off without answering any questions.

            I'm torn between re-opening the subreddit to stop inconveniencing our members, and de-modding myself to inconvenience the head mod (I checked the stats and I do over 90% of the mod work there). Or I could do both!

            This whole situation is ridiculous. Nothing is going to be achieved by this, except to encourage members of our subreddit to go to other similar subreddits which are still open.

            4 votes
            1. [6]
              suspended
              Link Parent
              Sounds like you've got some tough decisions to make. Good luck!

              Sounds like you've got some tough decisions to make. Good luck!

              2 votes
              1. [5]
                Algernon_Asimov
                Link Parent
                Decision made. 5 minutes ago, I de-modded myself from that subreddit. As I said in my goodbye message: if there's no activity in the subreddit to moderate, then he doesn't need moderators, and I...

                Decision made. 5 minutes ago, I de-modded myself from that subreddit. As I said in my goodbye message: if there's no activity in the subreddit to moderate, then he doesn't need moderators, and I don't need to be a part of a team where the head mod doesn't even tell the other mods what he's doing.

                Not only did he not bother telling his fellow moderators what he was going to do, he's now inconveniencing thousands of members of a very active subreddit, just to achieve absolutely nothing.

                I do 90% of the moderation work in that subreddit (I checked the stats!). I hope he's happy with the outcome of his actions.

                2 votes
                1. [3]
                  LukeZaz
                  Link Parent
                  I'm not sure 'nothing' is an accurate description of the outcome of the blackout? Not to say he was right not to have spoken with you — just that I wouldn't at all say this protest was useless.

                  I'm not sure 'nothing' is an accurate description of the outcome of the blackout? Not to say he was right not to have spoken with you — just that I wouldn't at all say this protest was useless.

                  3 votes
                  1. [2]
                    Algernon_Asimov
                    Link Parent
                    I was not aware of that outcome. Still, what's done is done. My reasons for leaving have more to do with his lack of communication than the protest itself, so I don't regret my choice. And, I've...

                    I was not aware of that outcome.

                    Still, what's done is done. My reasons for leaving have more to do with his lack of communication than the protest itself, so I don't regret my choice.

                    And, I've been proven wrong: this protest did achieve something. Wonders will never cease!

                    5 votes
                    1. tomf
                      Link Parent
                      i solo mod all of my subs, but one of them has two others above me who haven’t ever done a thing… well, almost. Every year or so this one mod comes back and has all of these lofty ideas for the...

                      i solo mod all of my subs, but one of them has two others above me who haven’t ever done a thing… well, almost.

                      Every year or so this one mod comes back and has all of these lofty ideas for the sub that don’t suit the community… then they disappear again.

                      in my main sub, there used to be another active mod who was super militant. i hated it. after that guy left, i decided to only run subs that i could mod alone.

                      my largest is just over 300k, but automod does most of the heavy lifting. it’s a high-effort sub, so it isn’t crazy busy like other subs.

                      good call on ducking out.

                      1 vote
                2. suspended
                  Link Parent
                  If your narrative is accurate, then I agree with your decisions. Hopefully, you can move on to greener pastures.

                  If your narrative is accurate, then I agree with your decisions. Hopefully, you can move on to greener pastures.

                  1 vote